|Wii U! Zelda!
||[Sunday 2nd November 2014 at 11:33 pm]
About a month ago I finally caved in and picked up a Wii U, along with Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors (as a "driving test passed" present to myself). It's not quite as wee a beastie as the original Wii - the console itself is a bit bigger, and the game pad is frankly enormous - but still just about fits in with everything else in the TV stack.
As an aside, GAME do seem to be amazingly bad at actually selling, well, games. I've tried two or three times over the past fortnight to buy the Wii U from the local store, and each time they've had no actual stock despite the shelves being full of game boxes. For added annoyance while they had a couple of nice bundles on offer, it's apparently impossible to place an order for them. Instead you have to order in the components in separately and then pay full price on the lot.
So instead I turned to game.co.uk, the online arm of the same company, wherein they not only had actual stock but had a better deal available and free courier delivery. The latter is less helpful than one might think as "courier" means "someone has to sign for it", but it's easy enough to get it delivered to work.
Anyway, the console. Setting it up was reasonably straightforward apart from the usual fun of getting it to talk to the router (the MAC address is surprisingly well-hidden), and it's quite nifty being able to wander off with the game pad and continue with the setup away from the TV. The only real downside is the ridiculously large system update needed that took a good hour or two to download (and my Internet connection's not that slow either). You'd have thought that since the console came out over a year ago it'd be loaded on at the factory, especially as I couldn't complete the Nintendo Network registration part of the setup without it. Still, eventually everything was updated and configured and I could finally play Hyrule Warriors on it, which is The Win.
Hyrule Warriors also has surprisingly competent AI-controlled allies. Normally AI-controlled players do no end of stupid things and generally fail at achieving the mission objectives, but here I was pleasantly surprised when part-way through one mission a Hyrule Captain (a very low-level allied leader) successfully captured a keep half-way across the map without any assistance. Later on in a different mission, I got given the objective "Protect Zelda from the ReDead Knights" followed almost immediately by the announcement "Zelda has defeated a ReDead Knight!". It's nice when your AI allies can be trusted to actually take care of themselves.